Developer: Devespresso Games // Stage Clear Studios
Category: Action, Adventure, Other
Release Date: 12.21.2017
The Coma: Recut
The Coma: Recut is, at first glance, your typical 2D side-scrolling game. It has a very manga-esque art style, which really makes it feel like you are playing out a manga story. You play as Youngho, an average guy struggling under the pressure of academic success and making friend’s (or girlfriend’s). Today is the day of finals, but something is wrong. A student killed themselves in the school last night, and Youngho witnesses an ambulance hauling her off. But not to fear, we won’t be cancelling finals!
Youngho pulled an all-nighter studying for his exams, so he isn’t feeling too great as he arrives at the school, learns about the suicide, deals with the school bully, and meets Yaesol. Yaesol is a randomly new student (new on finals day? Hmmm). Youngho tries to make her acquaintance, yet she shuts him down pretty quickly. As Youngho sits down to take his finals, he realizes that he is extraordinarily tired from staying up all night studying. As he tries to focus on his exam, he falls asleep. When he wakes up, everyone is gone…or are they? He wakes up in to a twisted alternate universe of his school. As he leaves his classroom, Ms Song comes by to talk to him, but something feels off. As Youngho tries to ask her how she is feeling, Ms Song turns in to a psychotic killer and tries to slash Youngho to death, causing Youngho to run for his life and hide from his serial killer teacher.
The characters in The Coma: Recut are your typical teenage character tropes that can be found in most manga and anime. Youngho is your typical hero who is just an average joe that goes mostly unnoticed by the popular kids at school…and has a nerdy friend. As you get in to the game, though, things do spice up. Combining side-scrolling adventure and survival horror, the game has an interesting concept that will get your heart pounding as you look for clues as to what the hell is going on…and try to not get murdered by your teacher. Search for clues, keys and other students spread out throughout the school campus.
There’s quite a few helpful icons that will help you interact with objects, pick things up, go in and out doors, and go up or down stairs. Not only can you crouch and hold your breath to go undetected when Ms Song is on the prowl, but you can also hide in cupboards and lockers. If you are in to hack and slash, this game isn’t for you. Youngho must solve the school mystery without the use of weapons (does the school still have a weapons policy if it’s in a creepy alternate universe with psychotic killers on the loose? That seems odd…). Without the use of your flashlight, you can’t really see your surroundings to help you find much needed clues. However, using your flashlight can attract some much unwanted attention, so use it at your own risk.
You do have the ability to find and use coins to purchase snacks from vending machines which will help you replenish hearts and heal wounds…should you get sliced by your horrific teacher. Only 6 slots in your school back-pack, you will have to wisely choose which items to take with you, including items required for side quests from other students. It was clever, too, that you save your game by using the school’s chalk boards, this helps keep it in line with the theme of the game. The Coma: Recut is an increasingly complex game that may require you to pop a klonopin or two as you hear the eerie music that indicates that Ms Song is near.
Unlike playing a game in the style of an anime, this game feels more like you are playing a manga. With hand drawn characters, it feels like a page turner, wanting to know what happens next. At times, some of the dialogue can really become too lengthy and lose your interest, and the game takes a while to really pick up the pace. While it does startle you at times, it takes a while to…really get going. The game is definitely text heavy, not just with the dialogue but with “notes” that you find around the school that clue you in to the back story of the game. I found myself not even wanting to pick up the notes after some time because I just honestly didn’t feel like spending 10 minutes reading an excerpt.
The soundtrack and sound effects are appropriate to the game style and theme. I found myself become anxious over whether or not Ms Song was going to find me or not, which really shows that the developers wanted you to really feel the horror of this game as much as possible. While some of the game can become lengthy and boring, most of it is exhilarating and scary.